Monday, August 26, 2013

Back To School 2013

Back to School 2013

Will and Ben had a great first day of school!

All smiles.  No tears.  




Sunday, August 25, 2013

Psalm 46:10


Psalm 46:10
“Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!”



All of Psalm 46 is beautiful and verse 10 is one of my favorite Bible verses.  It's such a good reminder of the peace that we can have when we stop and remember that God is in control.  Just like he told Moses in Exodus 3 "I AM WHO I AM”;". 

We are all burdened with responsibilities.  There never seems to be any time to just "be still" but sometimes that's what we need the most.  Maybe if it's only a brief break from our busy schedules I hope we can all find time to stop, reflect, and be thankful.  I definitely needed this reminder for myself as another school year starts and life gets crazy.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Family Photos Summer 2013

In June we met up with our favorite photographer and friend Lauren.  Lauren has photographed our family since Will was two.  I try to have her take photos of the boys at their birthdays and since they have birthdays about 6 months apart that means we have photos taken about twice a year.  I know a lot of people think that having professional photos taken so often might be frivolous, but I disagree.  When I see the sweet images she has captured of my boys, I've never regretted my decision to have the photos taken.  I admit I get stressed out planning our outfits for the photo shoot. I worry about how the boys will act and if they will cooperate.  I even stress about the stupid humidity and my frizzy hair, ha!  After this many years though I realize that none of that matters.  We always come away with good photos despite my worries.   Recently I looked through all of the photos over the last four and a half years and it made me teary-eyed.  We'll never get that time back and I'm glad we have such good quality photos of Will and Ben at each special phase in their life so far.

Our go-to location is always the Dallas Arboretum.  In my opinion, it's the best place to take family photos.  We've taken numerous family photos there and they always look different because the landscapes change each season.

One of my favorite photos of the boys.

I love this family photo.

I think I love the candid shots as much as the posed.

When did my little boy turn into a big boy?

And my baby has grown up, too!

Favorite photo of all!

This bench is "child size" but my boys still look like big kids here. 

Something sweet about this one.

My family
Blessed


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How to Share the Gospel


Have you ever had that moment when you are talking about your faith and you draw a blank?  You know what you want to say, but you're just not sure how to exactly explain what you believe.

Maybe you're lucky and the words always come naturally, but if you're like me, then you need a little help. 

This is for all the people out there who want to share the Gospel with others, but they need some guidance.

 The following Bible verses should be helpful.

God loves us.
John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 

Titus 2:11
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people

2 Peter 3:9
 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

 We need forgiveness.
Romans 3:23
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 2: 1-3
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.


We can have forgiveness of sin because of Christ and his perfect sacrifice.
Ephesians 1:7
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

1 Peter 2:24
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

Romans 5:8-9
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 


Hear the gospel and God's plan for salvation.
Romans 10:17
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Luke 11: 28
 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

1 Corinthians 15:1-2
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

Have faith.
Ephesians 2:8-9
 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Galatians 3:23-27
23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Believe.
John 8:24
I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” 

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 

Mark 16:16
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Repent.
 Acts 2:38
 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 17:30
 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,

Luke 24:47
 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

Confess.
Romans 10:9
 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Acts 8:37
And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."

Matthew 10:32
"Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.

Baptism.
Matthew 28:19
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Romans 6: 3-4
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

1 Peter 3: 21
 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Live a faithful Christian life that honors God
1 John 1: 5-7
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

Hebrews 12: 1-2
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.


In my understanding of how one becomes a Christian, I don't feel that any one of these is more important than the other, but God expects us to do all of these things in order to be saved.  I encourage anyone who is seeking answers about salvation to read and study the Bible on their own to completely understand God's plan for salvation.  The answers are there for a person who wants to become a Christian if they are sincerely seeking and desiring this change in their lives.  My goal was to choose verses that are related to individuals in the Bible who were saved in the New Testament.  There's definitely a connection between all of the verses and salvation.  If you study the Bible you will see a pattern of things done by those who became Christians and that's what guided me in using the Bible verses above.


 If you have any questions, my email is in the About Me section and if you leave a comment I can respond to that as well.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Summer 2013

Summer 2013


Tomorrow is the first day of teacher in-service so that means that our summer is officially over.  The 10 weeks that we have during summer always go by so quickly.  This is nothing new.  We know to make the most of each day and live it up.

This summer we were able to do so much because the boys are getting older.

Summer 2013 has been a good one!
Here are more than enough photos to prove it!


June
Technically our summer vacation wouldn't start until another week, but this photo was taken June 2.  The boys look bigger to me now than they did just 2 months ago.

VBS
This summer we had Vacation Bible School the first week after school was out.  I'm always encouraged by the people in our church.  They make VBS so much fun.  It's a lot of hard work, but it is worth it.  I truly believe it's a good work that will have a positive influence on these young ones for years to come.  Our theme was "Circus of Faith".




Celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary with a concert
More photos here.

Sarah Jarosz!
If you don't like blue grass, then you should!  Listen to Sarah Jarosz and she'll make you a fan.

Father's Day

Playing 


Birthday party fun with friends

Visiting my grandma and great-aunt at the nursing home


June 30 was the first day of our two-week road trip



 July

Road Trip
Indiana

Virginia

Baltimore

Shenandoah National Park


Playing in the dirt
Getting ready to put up our "Redneck Swimming Pool" in the backyard.  We had a load of sand delivered so we could make a level base for the pool. 



Celebrating Mark's 40th Birthday at the Rangers Game
We had an awesome time celebrating.  More photos here.

Another Rangers game
Just a few days after Mark's birthday we took the boys to a Rangers game.  It's one of the best games I've ever been to.

I love these guys so much!  Heart explosion!




The Rangers won in the 10th inning with a walk-off homerun hit right in front of where we were sitting.  It doesn't get much better than that!  (Look at the time on the clock--almost midnight!) 

 August

Bowling
The boys were really missing their cousin Maggie so we she spent the afternoon with us and they had such a good time with her there.

Look how cute these little bowling shoes are!


Swimming 




 Brotherly Love

Shopping with friends
Some of my very good friends are ladies who I've worked with in the past or who I still work with.  Teachers truly understand teachers and that's why I think we've all remained close.  About twice a year I meet up with these girls and we hit the mall.  We always go to H&M, Forever 21, Anthro, Charming Charlie, and other girlie boutiques that my boys refuse to enter, ha!

Two things I don't have a photos of are a trip to the Dallas Arboretum and the Frisco Rough Riders baseball game.  We've had a great summer and made a lot of special memories.  I'm thankful for all the good times we've had.

Summer 2013


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